President's message - Working Life, September 2017

Welcome to your pre-election edition of Working Life. This month the old adage: “change is the only constant” rings true as we all come to grips with new leaders, new policies and new progressive political horizons.

Janet crop web

Tēnā koutou,

As “Jacindamania” swept the country, worker-friendly policies were front of mind for me. Right now the General Election is looking close, with the PSA’s calls for equal pay, better-funded healthcare and stronger community and public services amplified as politicians jostle for position.

I’m thrilled to see politicians coming out strongly in support of our equal pay campaign. The Labour Party says it won’t rest until women have equal pay and the Green Party has laid out bold action to hold public sector chief executives responsible for achieving pay equity by 2020.

Meanwhile, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation that threatens to close the door on future equal pay settlements by placing unreasonably onerous requirements on claimants, making it more difficult for workers in female-dominated occupations to pursue pay equity claims.

If clear policy choice is what you are looking for, this election won’t fail to deliver.

Our feature this month, your election asks, answered reports back on each of our political policy asks. Members have a clear choice this September, with responses from political parties, detailing where each party stands on issues we have identified as critical for working people.

This edition we also highlight the people behind our public services with a feature on local heroes around the country. We celebrate the launch of our latest book; Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Housing, and congratulate our equal pay advocates for their nationwide effort during the Equal Pay Week of Action.

Our campaigns are a continuous source of pride. The Stand Together conversation cards are receiving rave reviews. I hear they have been a hit in every meeting where they’ve been used and are even more welcome as after dinner conversations or over a glass of wine.

 If you don’t have your set be sure to reach out to the team and get talking.

At the PSA we are in a privileged position. We understand the importance of advocacy and as a collective we are active and engaged in democratic process. In the final weeks leading up to the election I have a challenge for you: Take someone along with you to vote.

The right to vote was hard-fought and there are many people in our communities who need support to have their say. Be the person who helps them navigate enrolment for the first time, or the person who reassures them that their voice matters.

We cannot have a housing crisis run the people who deliver our public and community services like social workers, librarians and biosecurity staff out of our cities because they can’t afford to pay rent. We deserve better than a health system that delivers quality care to some New Zealanders and not others, and all New Zealanders should be able to go to work and earn a wage they can live on for an employer who upholds decent treatment and justice at work as a fundamental right.

If we want to be heard we need to stand together on this issues of importance to our nation and vote in line with our values.

Ngā manaakitanga,

Janet Quigley